Kurdish leaders in northern Syria have appealed to Damascus for protection from a threatened Turkish military attack, as they reel from the decision by Donald Trump to withdraw US troops from the war-torn country.
Syrian state media claimed on Friday that regime forces had entered the Kurdish-controlled city of Manbij close to the Turkish border, as the government grinds towards its stated aim of retaking “every inch” of the country after nearly eight years of civil war.
Mr Trump shocked allies this month when he announced that US forces would leave Syria, claiming that Isis had been defeated.
However, a teacher in Manbij told the Financial Times on Friday that he had seen no signs of the presence of the regime’s army in the town. He added that vehicles of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were still present.
A Kurdish official said that US forces were still in Manbij. A spokesperson for the US-led anti-Isis coalition could not be reached for comment.